The woman who was once the face of the troubled HealthCare.gov website said she’s been the victim of “cyberbullying” since the Affordable Care Act’s rollout began.
Identified only as “Adriana,” she told ABC News about the insults and jokes that have come her way since Oct. 1, when the website went live and her face greeted scores of visitors.
“They have nothing else to do but hide behind the computer. They’re cyberbullying,” she said. “I mean, I don’t know why people should hate me because it’s just a photo. I didn’t design the website. I didn’t make it fail, so I don’t think they should have any reasons to hate me.”
The picture was ultimately pulled from the front page, which Adriana called a “relief.”
“They took the picture down. I wanted the picture down, and they wanted the picture down. I don’t think anybody wanted to focus on the picture,” she said.
But a Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson told ABC that the photo was not removed because Adriana requested it.
Married for more than six years with a 21-month old son, Adriana reached out to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services to inquire about having photos of her family taken in exchange for permitting their use on the website. She was notified in the summer that her photo would be used on the front page.
Calling herself “pure Colombian,” Adriana said she’s lived in the United States for more than six years and is applying for citizenship. Her husband is an American citizen.